Member Highlights: April 19 – 25, 2015

Inside this Week’s Member Highlights

Member News

Member Events

Member Accolades

Member News

Ana G. Méndez University System and Valencia College Join in Historic Collaborative Agreement for the Development of Bilingual Professionals in Law Enforcement

CP 4 valencia suagm

Responding to a high demand for bilingual professions trained in the field of law and order, the Ana G. Méndez University System (SUAGM) and Valencia College announced a collaborative agreement which will mark a new era in education in the United States, while defining a new kind of bilingual public service.

“We are pleased to have developed this collaborative agreement with Valencia College and to provide opportunities which will position students who graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from SUAGM favorably in the hiring process,” commented Ramón Nieves, Provost for the Florida Campuses.

The purpose of the agreement is to combine academic efforts that will permit students at the Ana G. Méndez University System to complete a bachelor’s degree from the bilingual Criminal Justice program and, at the same time, be certified through the School of Public Safety at Valencia College. Likewise, students at the School of Public Safety at Valencia College can complete their bachelor’s degree through the bilingual Criminal Justice program at SUAGM.

“The School of Public Safety at Valencia College is proud to establish this collaborative agreement for education and training at the Ana G. Méndez University System in Orlando. This agreement will produce some of the best bilingual candidates in law enforcement in Central Florida. With an increasing Hispanic population in Central Florida, it is imperative that these two academic institutions produce highly qualified professionals who reflect the population and meet the expectations of public safety within our diverse community,” commented Dr. Jeffrey Goltz, Director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Valencia College.

In the City of Orlando, 26% of the population is of Hispanic origin; however, Hispanics represent only a 16% of the police force, a difference that is already being addressed by local government agencies. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunities (FDEO) reported an annual need of 179 positions for law enforcement officers and deputies in the Orlando metropolitan area, as well as 1,449 throughout the state of Florida.

“No society, state or nation can develop and prosper without the fundamental concept of law and order as its base. This important collaboration between our two renowned institutions comes at an ideal time when our government is expanding its Hispanic labor force,” said the Hon. Tony Ortiz, Commissioner for the City of Orlando, who has taken on the task of ensuring the promotion of Hispanics to higher positions within the public service sector in the City of Orlando.

Orlando Rolón, Deputy Chief of the Orlando Police, as well as Captain Carlos Torres, indicated their enthusiasm with the announcement of Valencia College and the Ana G. Mendez University System, describing it as “extraordinary.”

“This initiative will be of benefit to all the law enforcement agencies in Central Florida which seek to recruit bilingual Hispanic candidates certified in law and order,” added Orlando Rolón, Deputy Chief of Orlando Police.

“The new program will prepare a new generation of bilingual police officers with the skills to effectively manage their relationships with members of the community, working with them to create a safe and orderly society, bearing in mind the sensitivities of a changing community and the full compliance of the law” concluded Mayra Ramos Miró, Director of Public Relations and Communications, SUAGM USA.

For additional information please contact: 1-877-64SUAGM 1-877-647-8246

Back to Top

Port Tampa Bay Touts Newly Released Economic Impact Numbers for Coastal Ports Nationwide

Port Tampa Bay leadership is pleased to endorse study results released today that show dramatic increases in the economic impact numbers that can be directly tied to the activity of the nation’s coastal seaport system.

The 2014 National Economic Impact of the U.S. Coastal Port System, an updated port economic impact study, completed by leading economic assessment consultant Martin Associates, was released today at the annual Spring Conference of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) in Washington, D.C.  This critical new report cites $4.6 trillion in economic value that U.S. coastal ports provide in terms of business revenues, personal income and other economic output by importers and exporters—a solid 43% increase over the 2007 assessment by the firm.  That $4.6 trillion figure represented 26% of the nation’s $17.4 trillion economy in 2014, up from 20% of 2007’s $16.1 trillion economy.

Other key gains cited by the new report include:

  • $321.1 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues generated by port-sector and importer/exporters revenues (51% increase over 2007)
  • 1 million jobs generated by port-related activity (74% increase over 2007)
  • Personal wages and local consumption related to the port sector doubled from 2007, and in addition the average annual salary of those directly employed by port-related businesses equated to $53,723.00

Economic impact studies are important drivers in the decision making processes regarding strategic and master plans for ports nationwide, as well as funding acquisition processes and business development direction for ports, shippers and global carriers.  Individual ports and port authorities utilize critical data and figures to state their own business cases as they build infrastructure and facilities that contribute to the economies of their localities, regions and states.

“These impressive new figures underscore what we in the port industry have known for many years—that seaports generate huge economic impact and jobs, and ports represent the backbone of our economy, as well as our connection to the world and our very quality of life. Martin Associates’ findings show how important it is that we work hard to invest in our ports and landside transportation infrastructure so that the U.S. can remain a global competitor, providing these positive impacts for generations to come. Here at Port Tampa Bay, we represent $15.1 billion in economic impact and over 80,000 direct, indirect and related jobs, positioning the port as the region’s largest economic engine,” Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay president and CEO, said.

Back to Top

JLL Completes 31,000SF Headquarters Lease at Corporate Center Two in Tampa

JLL (NYSE: JLL) announces the completion of a 31,000-square-foot office lease on behalf of BioSpine Institute, an institute focusing on minimally invasive spine surgery led by Dr. James Ronzo and Dr. Frank Bono, for the firm’s headquarters at  Corporate Center Two at International Plaza, a class A office building located in the Westshore submarket.

“After exploring office space options in the Tampa market, we selected Corporate Center Two because it offers close proximity to our state-of-the-art surgery center in Tampa, allowing our patients to have quick and easy access to both locations,” said Dr. James Ronzo of BioSpine Institute.

Gary Godsey

Gary Godsey

JLL Senior Vice Presidents Gary Godsey and Brent Miller represented the tenant, BioSpine Institute, while Ron Ruffner, Senior Vice President, and Clayton Sovich, Vice President, of DTZ represented Corporate Center Two.

“JLL and BioSpine partnered to secure a unique office location that would benefit the tenant’s space needs, while also providing close proximity to BioSpine Institute’s surgery center in Tampa,” said JLL’s Gary Godsey. “We worked with the company to ensure the office address would provide excellent brand exposure and a premier space that would fit strategically with the company’s long-term mission and vision.”

Brent Miller

Brent Miller

BioSpine Institute uses advanced minimally invasive surgical technology and Dr. Ronzo and Dr. Bono have used their skills and techniques to bring relief to over 30,000 patients over their successful medical careers.

“Our vision was to create an experience for our patients that is truly unrivaled in the industry – a medical practice that combined a technology-advanced facility, an education rich environment, and a setting that provided both elegance and comfort for our patients.  Gary and his team understood that and were able to identify a perfect location for us at Corporate Center Two,” said Dr. Frank Bono of BioSpine Institute.

Over the past three years, the JLL duo of Mr. Godsey and Mr. Miller has represented over 240,000 square feet of office lease transactions at the Corporate Center office complex. Located at the intersection of Boy Scout Boulevard and Columbus Drive, the 290,648-square-foot office property provides numerous amenities including a café, banking services, fitness center, covered parking and on-site security.

“The Westshore market continues to be highly desired by companies seeking a premier business address and central location for their business operations, as tenants recognize the value this office submarket offers and seek premier office properties like Corporate Center,” JLL’s Brent Miller concluded.

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. With annual fee revenue of $4.7 billion and gross revenue of $5.4 billion, JLL has more than 230 corporate offices, operates in 80 countries and has a global workforce of approximately 58,000.  On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 3.4 billion square feet, or 316 million square meters, and completed $118 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2014. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $53.6 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit

Back to Top

The Phoenix is Florida Poly’s Official Mascot

15 0422 Florida Poly Mascot Reveal Rocket Science Photography-5

VIDEO: Introducing the #NextGreatMascot (Unveiling Video)

VIDEO: Creating the #NextGreatMascot

PHOTOS: Introducing the #NextGreatMascot Event

On the final class day of its first academic year, Florida Polytechnic University has introduced the Phoenix as its official mascot. The concept was developed and voted on by students in the University’s inaugural class.

phoenixThe Phoenix, which derives from Greek mythology, is a long-living bird that is reborn again and again, rising from its ashes in a sign of regeneration and hope. The Florida Poly Phoenix is a symbol of renaissance and renewal, designed to inspire students and faculty to generate new ideas, continue a lifelong quest for learning, and rise to any challenge.

The Florida Poly Phoenix has a clean design, but is full of imagery. The head of the Phoenix is looking skyward, aiming for great heights. The wings are reminiscent of the louvers on the University’s iconic Innovation, Science and Technology (IST) Building. On each wing, four feathers symbolize the four STEM disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, as well as four core values that are essential for advancing technology and engineering: Adaptability, Collaboration, Innovation and Leadership.

“Students made an excellent choice in the Phoenix to represent Florida Poly,” said University President Dr. Randy K. Avent. “It is a stellar symbol of our spirit and culture, and it conveys that Florida Poly is a place of creativity, problem solving and purpose. Our Inaugural Class should take great pride in defining this part of our legacy, and I look forward to seeing how they and our incoming class continue to shape our campus and traditions.”

Hundreds gathered in the IST Building Wednesday morning for the introduction of the University’s mascot. Florida Poly unveiled the Phoenix via video to a crowd of cheering students and supporters who contributed to student scholarships and were on campus for the University’s scholarship luncheon, which took place the same afternoon. School leaders also handed out Florida Poly Phoenix t-shirts, buttons and other items to celebrate the occasion and showcase their new symbol of school spirit.

“Selecting a mascot is a big moment for our University, and you can certainly feel the sense of excitement and school pride on campus,” said Director of Student Affairs Dr. Steven S. Warner. “We’re especially proud of the Phoenix because it was created and selected by our students.”

Florida Poly kicked off the process to develop its mascot in January 2015. In the months that followed, 20 #NextGreatMascot Concept Teams, made up entirely of student volunteers, collaborated to develop and pitch mascot concepts, receiving expert advice and coaching along the way.

Driven by the University’s mission of providing applied learning opportunities, these Concept Teams participated in a one-time, introductory “Design Thinking” course that immersed students in the constructs of problem definition, market research and creative production.

A selection committee narrowed down the concepts, and students voted in March for their favorite.

“The process of making the new mascot, it was an amazing experience,” said Veronica Herrera Perez, a freshman who was on the team that developed the Phoenix concept. “The Phoenix represents rising from the ashes. Florida Poly, as the newest university in the state, rose from the ground up.”

“I really wanted to find a way to incorporate the [Innovation, Science and Technology] Building, because up until now, that’s kind of been our mascot,” said freshman Jacob Livingston, who was on a team that pitched a different concept for the mascot. “When they showed the reveal video with the louvers going up and the wings rising, it was a perfect match.”

About Florida Polytechnic University: Florida Polytechnic University is the state’s 12th public university and the newest member of the State University System of Florida. Dedicated exclusively to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), the University blends applied research with industry partnerships to give students an academically rigorous education with real-world relevance. The campus, located in Lakeland, Fla. along the I-4 High Tech Corridor, opened for classes on Aug. 25, 2014.

Back to Top

Member Events

April 25: 32nd Anniversary Celebration of Asian-Pacific Heritage Month

ASIAFEST PROGRAM 2015 4-9 -15 (2)

Click here to view the Asia Fest Program.

Back to Top

April 27: Carrollwood Country Club Wedding Show

Please Join Us At The Carrollwood Country Club’s Wedding Show!


Experience an intimate and unique way to gather everything you need for your BIG DAY! Join us at Carrollwood Country Club Monday, April 27th, 2015 from 6pm to 9pm for our Wedding Show.

Come see our stunning ceremony courtyard and stroll through the Grand Ballroom filled with the very best event professionals Tampa Bay has to offer! Enjoy savory hors d’oeuvres, complimentary champagne and amazing decor all absolutely FREE.

Register At:

Back to Top

May 1 – 5: Join Tijuana Flats for “Cinco Daze Mayo”

2015_CincoDazeMayo_Flyer (2)

Back to Top

May 4: Brazil-Florida Business Council, Inc. Networking Reception

Join us for a special 2-hour networking event that will convene members and prospective members who are interested in networking and meeting the Council leadership and board members.



14306 N. Dale Mabry Hwy. Carrollwood, FL 33618

WHEN/TIME: Monday, May 4th, 5-7 PM

CHEF INSPIRED MENU: Mini Crab Cakes, Rustic Chicken Skewers, Antipasto Platter (Meat, cheeses, & olives), Edamame Hummus & House Made Pita Chips and Arugula, Quinoa & Avocado Salads, Champagne and red/white wine

ATTIRE: Business or Casual Chic

ADMISSION: BFBC Friend/Prospective Member: $25.00, BFBC Member: Complimentary

Thank you if you already registered. Please forward the invitation to your business associates. Space is limited, REGISTER today. Bring your business card for a chance to win a Carmel $35.00 gift card.

Join the BFBC today and begin enjoying your membership benefits!

Back to Top

May 13: Complimentary Lunch & Learn hosted by The Omnia Group: “Manage & Retain the Four (Sometimes Five) Generations in Today’s Workplace”


LUNCH & LEARN with us! Carolyn Eagen will be presenting on this topic and Omnia will provide food & beverage.

Here’s the presentation description:
Fifty percent of staff turnover is a result of incompatibility with something in the workplace. You, the boss, are the single largest culture/workplace influence. Attendees will learn the key elements of employee retention starting with the “right” way to bring a new employee into your organization. Realizing and maximizing your staff’s potential improves both morale and productivity. Specific tactics such as maximizing personalities, leadership preferences, development preferences, and ways to identify development opportunities will be revealed both from class discussion and instructor led solutions. Come network and learn from your peers!

RSVP Today Space is limited!
***To register, click on FIND TICKETS***

Back to Top

Member Accolades

Port Tampa Bay Again Receives Credit Affirmation and Upgraded “Positive” Outlook by Fitch Ratings

Port Tampa Bay is pleased to announce that Fitch Ratings has reaffirmed the port’s credit rating of A and has provided the authority with a “Positive” outlook. The announcement this week represents an upgrade in Port Tampa Bay’s outlook in recent years from “Stable” and shows a continued trend in favorable ratings affirmations received in recent years by other top ratings agencies such as Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.

Attainment of consistent credit ratings performance and positive outlooks have been increasingly difficult for ports to achieve in the economic climate of recent years. However, in its findings, Fitch continues to cite the port’s achievements in revenue generation, relatively low debt service levels, strong liquidity position, and the economic conditions in Hillsborough County as key factors in their analyses.   Other pertinent factors cited as strengths refer to the port’s long-term lease revenues, diverse business mix, and the state of Florida’s significant population growth.

Historically, the port relied on high-volume, low-value bulk cargoes such as phosphate and petroleum for the majority of its business.  The port’s subsequent diversification throughout the last decade, including strong cruise activity and increased container operations, has enabled the port to expand its revenue mix.  Additional strengths are the port’s increasing intermodal connectivity—including the recently-completed I-4 connector—and the TPA’s taxing authority.

In recent years, the port authority has been working toward a strategic, aggressive capital campaign that has focused on expansion of container facilities, augmentation of bulk cargo berthing capacity and rehabilitation of petroleum docks, which are critical for the west and central Florida market.  Practical financial decisions, guided by a business-model approach and an eye on diversification, have enabled the port to experience financial success.

“We are very pleased to once again receive affirmation of our credit rating and very excited and proud of the upgrade in our outlook from “Stable” to “Positive” from Fitch Ratings this year.  Such recognition of our financial strength and long-term performance enables the port to continue to build upon its capital infrastructure and strategic plan in all areas and is a confirmation of the direction Port Tampa Bay is headed. Port Tampa Bay is fortunate to have a board of commissioners and staff carrying out the major strategic decisions for the port.  We will continue to engage in wise investments and develop a world-class port.  Consistent high ratings help guide our every step, and we are committed to carrying on what has become a very fine tradition for the organization,” Paul Anderson, president and CEO, said.

Port Petroleum Terminal Complex Wins Award


Pictured, left and right: aerial views of the Port Tampa Bay Petroleum Terminal Complex, which is the site for the importation of 40% of the fuel that serves the large and growing consumer market of West and Central Florida. Middle: Frank Nelson, senior vice president and general manager of Batson Cook’s Tampa office, holds the prestigious Eagle Award with Bruce Laurion, chief engineer, Port Tampa Bay.

Port Tampa Bay proudly announces that one of its largest capital projects to date has been honored with a prestigious Eagle Award by the Associated Builders and Contractors’ Florida Gulf Coast Chapter.

The award recognizes “Port Tampa Bay’s Petroleum Facilities Improvements Project” as the most outstanding project in the $25-100 million Industrial category, and was presented to the joint venture partners of Batson-Cook Company and Balfour Beatty Construction at the April 17 awards ceremony, held at the Hilton Tampa Downtown.

The Eagle is one of the industry’s premier honors, which identifies top construction projects based on complexity, innovation, unique challenges overcome, workmanship, and safety. This particular effort was a multi-phased project that effectively consolidates facilities that are shared by multiple users, increases berthing space for ships and allows for more vessels and larger ships to dock and offload product. The $54 million project is one of the largest investments ever undertaken at any Florida port and carries extremely high benefit for the region’s quality of life, and meets the needs of the region’s large and growing population and tourist base.

“We at Port Tampa Bay are very excited that our newly modernized petroleum terminal complex has been honored with this top honor,” Paul Anderson, port president and CEO, said.  The port is the energy products gateway, handling approximately 40% of the motor fuel for West and Central Florida.  This thriving business sector has a massive influence on our economy and the daily lives of our large and growing population.  The Batson-Cook and Balfour Beatty Construction team, working with our engineering team, created a highly sophisticated and efficient system that benefits our customers, tenants and the residents of the entire region and will provide economic benefits for years to come. We owe a great amount of thanks to the State of Florida for providing strong financial support for this tremendous project, as well.”

Back to Top

Greenberg Traurig Tampa Shareholders Peter W. Zinober and Richard C. McCrea Jr. Recognized by Prestigious Chambers Global Guide

Peter Zinober

Peter W. Zinober

Peter W. Zinober and Richard C. McCrea Jr., shareholders in the Tampa office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A., have been recognized in the 2015 edition of the prestigious Chambers Global legal services directory.

Chambers and Partners, a UK–based publisher, selects attorneys for inclusion in its guides based on thousands of interviews with practicing lawyers and clients from around the world.  Attorneys, practice areas, and firms are ranked by placement in bands, with “Band 1” being the highest placement. For a full explanation of the rankings, please click here.

For the second consecutive year, Zinober and McCrea have been recognized in the

Richard C. McCrea Jr.

Richard C. McCrea Jr.

Chambers Global Guide for their work in the Labor & Employment practice area.

Zinober serves as Co-Chair of both the firm’s Global Labor & Employment Practice as well as the Global Human Capital Solutions Practice. Zinober concentrates his practice on the defense of employment discrimination cases in state and federal court, both jury and non-jury, as well as wage and hour, disability discrimination, Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, and other whistleblower defense, age and all other types of employment litigation.

At Greenberg Traurig, McCrea specializes in employment, civil rights and restrictive covenant litigation. He is one of the very few Florida lawyers dual-Board Certified in both Labor & Employment and Civil Trial. McCrea has been repeatedly recognized as one of the foremost employment litigators in Florida by various independent legal ranking services.

Both Zinober and McCrea are longtime members of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

About Greenberg Traurig -Tampa

Greenberg Traurig’s Tampa office represents clients in a broad array of civil and criminal litigation, trial, and appellate practice in state and federal courts—including complex and high-stakes trials—both in Florida and around the country.  We also regularly represent clients in labor & employment, real estate, environmental, land development, corporate, bankruptcy & creditors’ rights, public finance, tax, and other business planning and transactions.  We work closely with our Orlando office to offer clients full-service representation in the region, with our six other Florida offices to provide seamless state-wide representation, and with dozens of Greenberg Traurig offices in the United States and abroad to provide clients with both local expertise and global reach. Nine Greenberg Traurig Tampa practices are listed as top-tier by U.S. News–Best Law Firms®. And, members of our team are recognized in Chambers and Partners USA Guide, The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, The Legal 500 United States, Florida Super Lawyers, Florida Trend magazine’s Florida Legal Elite, and Best Lawyers in America.

About Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP is an international, multi-practice law firm with approximately 1800 attorneys serving clients from 37 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The firm is among the “Power Elite” in the 2014 BTI Client Relationship Scorecard report, which assesses the nature and strength of law firms’ client relationships. For additional information, please visit

Back to Top

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Bookmark the permalink.

About Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit business membership organization that helps promote the businesses and business interests of our members. We come from diverse backgrounds: from small businesses, big corporations, government bodies and the military. United, we become a single, unifying force with the power to shape the future of Tampa Bay.